August 25, 1990
Attn: Public Information
101 8th Street
Oakland, California 94607
Re: Draft 1991-95 TIP Vol. I (Transit): Public Hearing, 9:15 am, September 14, 1990
It is interesting that only BART and Caltrain, of all the transit companies, waste money on building parking. Can you imagine how much more impoverished Greyhound, A/C Transit, etc. would be if they had to buy land and build parking for their patrons, in addition to providing true transportation services? The fact that BART and Caltrain (the latter is run by Caltrans -- perhaps that explains it) waste money on parking (some of it even in high-rise structures!) just demonstrates how little they know about managing scarce resources. Or are they somehow forbidden from making better use of their funds?
The projects are not adequately described in the TIP -- not even enough to know what the projects are! Perhaps that is your way of minimizing public scrutiny. However, I have managed to discover that the following projects are actually parking construction projects. None of them should be built. The money would be better spent increasing service, including doing adequate maintenance so that the trains can at least run on time! BART's early a.m. trains to Concord are always 2-7 minutes late.
BART: Fruitvale A/P; Walnut Creek A/P; Railroad Ave. Park/Ride; Brentwood Park/Ride; Alameda Park/Ride; Concord A/P (pp.1-6-9,10); Hayward Station A.I.P (p.1-8-2).
Caltrain: Palo Alto Station parking lot; San Jose Station parking expansion and "improvement"; San Francisco Station parking expansion and "improvement" (pp.1-6-16,17).
If parking is needed, it simply indicates that more pedestrian, bicycle, and bus access is needed. As you well know, you are under orders from a federal judge to obey the Clean Air Act and restore the Bay Area to "Reasonable Further Progress". This is one easy way you could contribute to that: help us all reduce our dependence on the automobile (and foreign oil, while we're at it!).
The use of rail bond money for grade separations (e.g. Caltrain at Oyster Point, p.1-7-3). is also inappropriate. These projects are mostly to benefit motorists, and should be paid for out of gas tax money ("Flexible Congestion Relief" funds).
Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.